Design Indaba 2016: industrial designer Benjamin Hubert has explained why he shifted his energy away from furniture design, saying “everyone seems to be designing the same thing” in the sector.

Hubert made the comments to Dezeen last week after giving a lecture at theDesign Indaba conference in Cape Town, in which he explained the thinking behind the recent rebranding of his studio as Layer.

“I’ve been reflecting a lot,” said the London-based designer. “Everyone involved in creating lighting, furniture and accessories… they’re all talented people but everyone seems to be designing the same thing. It’s so saturated.”

Benjamin Hubert at Design Indaba 2016
Benjamin Hubert on stage at the Design Indaba 2016 conference in Cape Town. Image courtesy of Design Indaba

Hubert calculated that, prior to rebranding, his studio spent 40 per cent of its time working on free pitches for furniture and lighting brands. The studio spent a total of 4,500 working hours per year developing product ideas that it would then pitch to brands.

Only 37.5 percent of these pitches resulted in products that were put into production, meaning that 44 days of work per year were wasted.

“You get paid sometimes in furniture but more often you’re working for a very low royalty on products that don’t sell as well as before,” Hubert told Dezeen.